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Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

Awards to Canada Artists for
Outstanding Achievements in the Arts

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Funding Source:

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Canada Council for the Arts

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Awards of $25,000 to Canada artists to acknowledge outstanding achievements in the fields of media arts, visual arts, and fine crafts. Nominations will be accepted for artists to recognize excellent achievements, excellence in fine crafts, and notable contributions to the fields of fine crafts, media arts, or visual arts.

The Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts are granted to artists in recognition of remarkable careers in either of those fields. Awards: 

  • Awards are available for distinguished artistic achievement in the visual (including architecture) and/or media arts
  • An award is presented as the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts
  • An award is given to recognize the outstanding contribution to the visual arts (including architecture), media arts or to fine craft of an individual or group in a volunteer or professional capacity, through philanthropy, board governance, community outreach activities, or as a director of an organization, curator, programmer, educator, critic or dealer/distributor

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171072

Number of Grants:

Up to 8 awards are given annually: Up to 6 Artistic Achievement awards, 1 Saidye Bronfman Award, and 1 Outstanding Contribution

Estimated Size of Grant:


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nominees must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They do not need to be living in Canada.

Nominees must be living as of the nomination deadline date. Prizes are not awarded posthumously.

- Members of the Board of the Canada Council are not eligible to be considered for these awards during their term as members and for 6 months following the end of their term.
- Individuals may only be nominated in 1 of the 3 categories (Artistic Achievement, Saidye Bronfman Award or Outstanding Contribution) per year.
- Individuals may only receive 1 award in a lifetime from each of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts’ categories (Artistic Achievement, Saidye Bronfman Award and Outstanding Contribution).

Candidates may not apply for the prize. They must be nominated by an eligible nominator. Nominations must be submitted to the Council by a recognized Canadian specialist in the visual or media arts or fine crafts.

For more information about eligibility and nominator eligibility, see pages 2-5 of the Guidelines document in Supporting Documents below.

The Canada Council is committed to equity and inclusion, and encourages applications and nominations from culturally diverse, Deaf, disability and official language minority artists, groups and organizations. The Canada Council recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of this land and encourages applications and nominations from First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, groups, and organizations in all its programs. Measures are in place in all programs to support these commitments.

Pre-Application Information:

Nominations will be accepted until June 30, 2020. If this date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.

Application Assistance contributes to costs for services to help with a prize application or nomination for individuals who self-identify as:
- An artist who is Deaf, hard of hearing, has a disability or is living with a mental illness
- First Nations, Inuit or Métis artist facing language, geographic and/or cultural barriers.
To submit a request, contact the officer responsible for the prize 4 weeks prior to the deadline. More information is available at:

The award winners and their nominators will be notified privately of the results approximately 5 months after the deadline date. Nominators of non-winning nominees will be notified of the results by letter. Please note that the Canada Council does not notify the individual nominated for the award. It is the responsibility of the nominator to notify their nominee.

An awards ceremony and a reception in honor of the winners is held every year, during which each of the winners are presented with a special-edition medallion. The media announcement takes place prior to the ceremony

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Jennifer Cherniack
Program Officer, Prizes
613-566-4414, ext. 5265
Toll free: 1-800-263-5588, ext. 5265
TTY: 1-866-585-5559

Send your nomination to:
By mail:
Canada Council for the Arts
150 Elgin Street, P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa ON K1P 5V8

By courier:
Canada Council for the Arts
150 Elgin Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa ON K2P 1L4

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon

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